Credits    Navigation      philipdick.com     Novels    Short Stories     References

TPM1.gif (9225 bytes)
aaPinkBeam.GIF (249 bytes) aaPinkBeam.GIF (249 bytes) aaPinkBeam.GIF (249 bytes)

Number

Writing Date

Pub. Date

Previous

Next

Notes

10

Feb to Apr 1952

Jun 1953

The Short, Happy Life Of The Brown Oxford

The Gun

3800 wds

FIRST PUBLICATION

HISTORY:

        As for "The Preserving Machine" which PKD worked on simultaneously with "Brown Oxford," the correspondence is practically the same. Dick was revising this story by March 19, 1952 and still at it to April 12, 1952 when he pushed for "The Preserving Machine’s" acceptance regardless of the decision on "Brown Oxford." In this series of letters PKD is either trying to push one or the other of the two stories while at the same time putting them forward as the beginning of a series:

    I hope you won't be too disconcerted to see this epic coming right back, so soon. "Preserving Machine" has been carefully worked over, so here it is. The other one will take a little longer. Maybe quite a bit longer. It needs more.
    I agree that the second version of P.M. was too short. It read like a synopsis, and in some respects was not as  good as the first. Therefore I have done a completely new version which is SENSATIONAL, and that is what you will find just below this letter. Below that are the previous versions, the too-long and the too-short, just for any value they might have for comparison purposes
   Now, I wonder if it would be alright with you that P.M. might be considered intrinsically, not waiting for the other to follow? I would be much happier having this one out of the way. {…}
 {SL-38 22}

     "The Preserving Machine" was accepted by F& SF by May 15, 1952. It was published a year later in the June 1953 issue of F & SF. PKD acknowledged its publication in a letter to Boucher dated May 18, 1953:

    Thank you very much for the very nice things you said in the printing of "The Preserving Machine." I was overcome with delight.

    Later, the story would give its name to the 1969 Ace Books collection of his stories, THE PRESERVING MACHINE And Other Stories.

    "The Preserving Machine" is another invention of Doc Labyrinth’s. Thinking to preserve great music in animate form, the good doctor feeds sheet music into his machine and creatures attuned to the musical scores come out the other end. So, music is saved for the ages, right? Not quite because Doc Labyrinth forgot to factor in evolution and the survival of the fittest.

    An amusing fantasy that deserves .

    See also "The Short, Happy Life Of The Brown Oxford."


Other Magazine and Anthology Appearances         More Cover Pix here: aaaPKDickBooks.jpg (3234 bytes)

1955 A HANDFUL OF DARKNESS, Rich & Cowan, hb, ?,?,?,? (?)          
1969 xpres-machine3.jpg (13582 bytes) THE PRESERVING MACHINE, Ace, pb, 67800, Apr 1969, 317pp, $0.95 (Leo and Diane Dillon) [CG: - A146]  
1970 xpres-machine21.jpg (12125 bytes) THE PRESERVING MACHINE, SFBC, hb, 2134, Jan 1970, ?, $1.69 (Leo and Diane Dillon) {Levack: "Bound in grey paper boards with green lettering on the spine. Ace Books logo on the spine. Top edges stained green. Date code 48K [48th week of 1969] at lower left margin of page 309"}

 

 
1971 xpres-machine1971.jpg (11890 bytes) THE PHILIP K. DICK OMNIBUS, Gollancz, hb, ?, 1971, ?, ? (?) {PKDickbooks.com has the novel published under this title for a short time}  
1971 tpm1971.jpg (12049 bytes) THE PRESERVING MACHINE & Other Stories, Gollancz, hb, 00562-9, Feb 1971, 256pp, L1.80 (?) {GC: [-A146] "What The Dead men Say"} {Levack" "Bound in maroon paper boards with gold lettering on the spine. '1971' on the title page." note: Levack has price L1.60}  
1971   THE SCIENCE FICTION BESTIARY, E.P.Dutton, hb, ?, Nov 1971, ?,? (?) {Ed. Silverberg} 0-525-66172-7  
       
1972 xpres-machine8T.jpg (1897 bytes) THE PRESERVING MACHINE, Reader's Union - UK SFBC, hb, 5041, Feb 1972, ?, ? (?)  
1972 preserving21.jpg (13207 bytes) THE PRESERVING MACHINE, Pan, pb, 23363-7, Nov 1972, 288pp, 35p (?)  
1974 tsfb1a.jpg (14418 bytes) THE SCIENCE FICTION BESTIARY, Dell, pb, ?, Mar 1974, ?,? (?) {Ed. Silverberg} 0-440-098139-5  
1976 xPres-machine11.jpg (15125 bytes) THE PRESERVING MACHINE, Ace, pb, 67801, 1976, ?, $1.95 (David Schleinkofer)  
1976   THE SCIENCE FICTION BESTIARY, Dell, pb, ?,?,? (?) {Ed. Silverberg}  
1977   THE PRESERVING MACHINE, Pan, pb, 23363-7, 1977, ?, 70p (?) [-A146]  
       
1984 ROBOTS, ANDROIDS AND MECHANICAL ODDITIES, SIUP,hb,?,1984,? (?) {Ed. Warrick}  
1987 csopkd1a.jpg (6949 bytes) THE COLLECTED STORIES OF PKD, Vol.1  
1987 PKD_PRESERVING1.jpg (17145 bytes) THE PRESERVING MACHINE, Panther, pb, 06938, Oct 1987, 413pp, L3.50 (Chris Foss) 0-586-06938-0 {Locus: restores "What The Dead Men Say", dropped from all previous UK editions}  
       

 NOTES:

    {NOTE: The following edited correspondence refers also to THE SHORT HAPPY LIFE OF THE BROWN OXFORD, which PKD wrote and submitted to F & SF simultaneously with THE PRESERVING MACHINE. See  the SHORT HAPPY LIFE OF THE BROWN OXFORD page for more -- Lord RC}

SL-38 20

Dear Sirs,                                                                            

    Please pardon me all to hell, but I am sending you this story while you still have the previous one. The reason: both stories are related, and I feel sure you will want to see them together.
    Now, "The Preserving Machine" is long, contemplative, and philosophical. "Left Shoe, My Foot"  is short, descriptive, and hard. In the back of my mind is the idea that they form a kind of series with maybe more to follow. Their theme is the same, the characters are the same, etc. But you may feel that one or both should be given up; maybe the idea of the series.
    Of the two, I like "Left Foot" better. That it may survive and "Machine" fail wouldn't surprise me. {...} {PKD>The Editors of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Feb 11, 1952}

 SL-38 21

Dear Mr. Boucher,                                                                

    {...}

    I understand about the Labyrinth stories. I've already reworked them, cut the "Machine" from 23 pages to 10; the other from 29 to 15, made strong the end, made smooth the style, but I'm content to bask and sun myself and hold them up indefinitely. But they are ready, if you suddenly run out of short stories. I won't send them off anywhere else. {...}{PKD>Tony Boucher, Mar 5, 1952}

 SL-38 22

Dear Sirs,                                                                        

{...}

"Preserving Machine" -- greatly changed, much shorter, smoother, end stronger. This is perhaps a better story than its companion. If you want it all by itself you could take it alone. {PKD>The Editors of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Mar 19, 1952}

 SL-38 22

Dear Mr. Boucher,                                                              

    I hope you won't be too disconcerted to see this epic coming right back, so soon. "Preserving Machine" has been carefully worked over, so here it is. The other one will take a little longer. Maybe quite a bit longer. It needs more.
    I agree that the second version of P.M. was too short. It read like a synopsis, and in some respects was not as  good as the first. Therefor I have done a completely new version which is SENSATIONAL, and that is what you will find just below this letter. Below that are the previous versions, the too-long and the too-short, just for any value they might have for comparison purposes
    Now, I wonder if it would be alright wit you that P.M. might be considered intrinsically, not waiting for the other to follow? I would be much happier having this one out of the way.

{...}{PKD>Tony Boucher, Apr 12, 1952}

 SL-38 29

Dear Mr. Boucher,                                                        

    Thank you very much for the very nice things you said in the printing of "The Preserving Machine." I was overcome with delight.

{...}{PKD>Tony Boucher, May 18, 1953}

SL-38 246

{...}

{...} My most recent novel will be out May 9th, published by Doubleday, called, UBIK. It is a very strange one. And a full and successful collection of my stories, ranging from those written in 1951 up to the present, is being brought out by Ace in a week or so; I'm very proud of it (It's called THE PRESERVING MACHINE, and the editor has so carefully combed my 150 odd stories so as to make it appear that I'm a good short story writer, which I am not).

{...} {PKD>Peter Fitting, Apr 29, 1969}


Collector’s Notes

Rudy's Books: SFBC, hb, 2134, Jan 1970, ?, $1.69 (Leo and Diane Dillon) NF/VG $75

Phildickian: THE SCIENCE FICTION BESTIARY ed. Robert Silverberg, Dell, pb, 1974. VG-. $6

Phildickian: THE SCIENCE FICTION BESTIARY ed. Robert Silverberg, Dell, pb, 1976. NF. $2.95


Credits    Navigation      philipdick.com     Novels    Short Stories     References